The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday denounced Rwanda’s allegation that a Congolese fighter jet had violated Rwandan airspace, claiming the plane was attacked by Rwandan troops in a “deliberate act of aggression amounting to an act of war” .
The Rwandan government’s communications office has a pronunciation on Twitter Tuesday stating: “At 5:03pm today, a Sukhoi-25 from DR Congo violated Rwandan airspace for the third time. Defensive measures were taken. Rwanda asks the DRC to stop this aggression.”
The Congolese government later issued one pronunciation disputing Kigali’s version of events, claiming that the plane was “attacked as it began landing on the runway of Goma’s international airport.”
“The Rwandan fire was aimed at a Congolese aircraft flying into Congolese territory. It did not fly over Rwandan airspace. The plane landed without major material damage.”
It continues to say that “the government considers this umpteenth attack by Rwanda to be a deliberate act of aggression amounting to an act of war” with the “sole purpose of sabotaging” ongoing efforts to restore peace in eastern DRC, where a rebel uprising has taken place. broken relations between the two countries.
CNN cannot independently verify either version of events.
A video widely shared on Congolese social media showed a projectile firing towards a military plane before exploding in mid-air near the plane, which continued to fly. CNN was unable to immediately verify the video.
Rwanda has been accused by the Congolese government, the United Nations and Western allies of supporting the notorious armed rebel group M23 in their violent uprising in eastern DRC, which Kigali denies.
Regional leaders reached an agreement in November requiring the Tutsi-led group to withdraw from recently captured positions on January 15 as part of efforts to end the fighting that has displaced at least 450,000 people.
Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said last week that the rebels had not completely withdrawn from those areas.
In December, Rwanda said another fighter jet from Congo briefly violated its airspace.
An unarmed Congolese fighter jet also briefly landed at a Rwandan airport in November during a reconnaissance mission near the border, in what Congo said was an accident.